Capitol Reconstruction Commission Records Guide
Scope and Content Note
The records of the Capitol Reconstruction Commission document the planning, construction, and furnishing of the new Oregon State Capitol after the 1935 Capitol fire. The records cover the years 1935-1940 and document the formation of the Commission, the site selection process, the architectural design competition, the selection of artists and interior designs, and construction of the State Capitol and State Library buildings. The records of the Commission consist of correspondence, construction and planning records, meeting minutes, blueprints, report, and ceremony records.
Correspondence includes letters and memos of the Commission Secretary, Commissioners, architects, muralists and sculptors, Public Works Administration, contractors, Oregon Attorney General, and state agencies. Construction records include specifications, reports, blueprints, landscaping plans, change orders, contracts, and laboratory tests. Also included are records relating to the Capitol's architectural design competition, the Capitol cornerstone laying and building dedication ceremonies, and records relating to planning and furnishing of the Capitol and State Library. The records of commissioner Robert W. Sawyer are also included in this accession.
Two sub-series of related records are found in the legal records of the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The first series, Legal Records, documents actions by the Capitol Reconstruction Commission to acquire land to the north of the Capitol through the use of eminent domain for development of the Capitol Mall. The Assistant Attorney General, whose primary responsibility was as chief counsel for the State Highway Commission, represented the Commission in legal actions. Records include correspondence, court documents, memoranda, plats, appraisals, newspaper clippings, photographs and photographic negatives (see below).
In the second, the records consist of photographic negatives and a photographic print that document homes proposed to be removed through eminent domain proceedings initiated by the Capitol Reconstruction Commission to make way for expansion of the Capitol Mall north of the Capitol building. The records are stored with other photographs from the Capitol Reconstruction Commission.